Games on Thursday
2 p.m. – Malaysia vs Army
4 p.m. – Vietnam vs Ateneo
A slam-bang, high-powered action looms right in the opener of the V-League Invitational Club Championship on Thursday, Oct. 27 as Army slugs it out with Malaysia and Ateneo clashes with Vietnam at The Arena in San Juan.
The short, single round tournament gives the compact four-team field no other choice but to pour it all out in each set of each game to get a crack at the championship set Sunday.
The Troopers are raring to go, ready to slug it out with a Malaysian team powered by former SEA Games campaigners, members of the national team and a number of junior standouts.
“We really had to prepare for this tournament, especially against Vietnam, which is very strong,” said Army coach Rico de Guzman.
But before they tackle the Vietnamese on Friday, the Troopers hope to hurdle the Malaysians in their 2 p.m. encounter, kicking off the event sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza and backed by Accel and Mikasa.
Matches can be viewed on live streaming at www.v-league.ph, according to the organizing Sports Vision.
Vietnam, runner-up to Thailand in the last five stagings of the SEA Games, has been installed as the pre-tournament favorite with a roster bolstered by two Russian six footers in Anactaxia Trernai and Ekoterina Martynova.
Ateneo, champion of the Shakey’s V-League Season 8 first conference, will get a first crack at the Viets at 4 p.m. with coach Roger Gorayeb pinning his hopes on the power-hitting duo of Alyssa Valdez and Fille Cainglet and mainstays Gretchen Ho, Dzi Gervacio, Dennise Lazaro, Jem Ferrer and Leal Patnongon.
The Troopers, meanwhile, boast of a number of Shakey’s V-League MVPs, headed by former national team members Michelle Carolino and Mary Jean Balse, Nerissa Bautista and the talented Rachel Ann Daquis, making them a strong title contender.
Backing up the squad, which dominated the second conference of this year’s Shakey’s V-League, are Cristina Salak, Marietta Carolino, Patricia Siasan-Torres, Ma. Theresa Iratay and Jennelyn Reyes.
Malaysia will be led by former SEA Games players Teon Kwan Kee, Lim Lay Kuan, Josephine Goh and Nur Haizreen, who are expected to provide the experience and poise for the team, which includes national players Tan Chiew Lee, Jessie Lee, Ursula Moh and Yew Sook Ting and junior standouts Low Wan Jin, The Huei Hoing, Wong Fei Tien and Ho Xiao Hui.
Trernai and Martynova, on the other hand, hope to draw solid back up from an equally talented Vietnam players, led by ace setter and former national team mainstay Pham Thu Ha
The four teams will clash in a single round robin format with the top two clashing for the crown and the two others will dispute third place honors in the event being considered to be integrated into the Shakey’s V-League calendar starting next year.
All matches will be aired on NBN 4 on a delayed basis with the first game to be telecast in the night of the same day. The second match will be shown the following day.(pr)